Directions for a Twisted Rib Stitch

By Virginia Watson

Things Needed

  • Yarn
  • Knitting needles
The twisted rib is a decorative knitting stitch.

The twisted rib stitch in knitting is a way to add a decorative stitch to a ribbing pattern. As the name suggests, stitches are twisted when knitting across a row, by knitting through the back loop of the stitch. Twisted rib patterns are slightly less stretchy than traditional ribbing patterns, as the twisted stitches make the fabric slightly more stable. This stitch pattern is relatively easy to complete; knitters will have to be comfortable with knitting and purling through the back loops of the stitches.

Cast on your stitches. The tubular cast on is a stretchy technique that is nearly invisible when used in a ribbing pattern. Additionally, the twisted German cast-on is stretchy enough to allow your ribbing to expand and contract as the garment is worn.

Knit the first stitch through the back loop. While normal knit stitches are knitted through the front “leg” of the stitch on the needle, to twist, you will need to knit through the “leg” of the stitch that is farthest away from you.

Purl the next stitch as you normally would. Alternate stitches knitted through the back loop and purl stitches until you have reached the end of your row, ending with a purl stitch. Turn your work.

Knit the first stitch of the wrong side of your fabric without twisting it. This stitch appears as a purl stitch on the right side. For the second stitch, which is the twisted knit stitch on the right side, you will purl through the back loop of the stitch. Insert your right needle into the back “leg” of the stitch from left to right, and angle your right needle so that the tip is pointing to the left. Wrap the yarn around the needle as you normally would, draw the yarn through and pull the stitch off the needle. Continue to alternate knit and twisted purl stitches until the end of the row.

Repeat these two rows until you have reached the desired size of your work. Bind off all stitches using a stretchy technique. The tubular cast off method is the equivalent to the tubular cast on, and the method called "Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off" is also well suited to ribbing.

About the Author

Based in New York City, Virginia Watson has been writing and editing professionally since 2004. Her work has appeared in magazines including "The Roanoker Magazine," "Blue Ridge Country," "Pinnacle Living" and the award-winning "Virginia State Travel Guide." Watson holds a Master of Arts in philosophy of education from Virginia Polytechnic and State University.